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16-24 year olds shunning creative industries

The UK’s world-leading creative industries risk losing a generation of talent as research emerged showing increasing numbers of young people are shunning art qualifications.

A YouGov survey found 33% of British 16-24-year-olds would be less likely to study a creative undergraduate course due to the recession and rising tuition fees.

Former Clothes Show presenter and fashion commentator Caryn Franklin is particularly concerned about the potential fallout from these findings.

She said: “If young people are increasingly told that higher education is simply three years to prepare to find a job they will turn their backs on more creative degrees. This isn’t just an issue for those individuals but the creative industries as a whole. The UK is a world leader in creative practice and thrives on a diverse range of talented people coming through the ranks to contribute to a rich cultural heritage of fashion, film, advertising and photography, to name just a few areas.

“Where will the next generation of creative talent come from if young people are put off by fears around the job market and the cost of studying?”

Lauren Goodland, 17, from Wales, is aware of the fears many young people are facing but feels a creative qualification can also be a great stepping stone.

She said: “The recent negative press towards creative degrees is really off-putting for a lot of people who might apply for these types of courses.

“However there are loads of people from all sorts of backgrounds who have amazing talent and whose lives could, and should, be changed for the better by doing an arts-based degree.”

Goodland has reason to be cheerful after being selected as one of the winners as part of the Who Are You? project run by the Arts University College Bournemouth to showcase young creative talent.

The competition was open to artists and designers from around the world aged 16-18 who submitted artwork that described who they are in the world today.

The ten winning entries will have their artwork posted on advertising hoardings across the UK in April and Goodland was delighted to be included.

She said: “I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the winners, and I am now even more sure that an arts degree course will give me something to both strengthen my career chances and, of course, be proud of.”

Oliver Porritt 

(Pictured:  Lauren Goodland’s Who Are You submission)

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